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7 Ways To Beat Your Fear of Flying

7 Ways To Beat Your Fear of Flying

While the Wright Brothers insisted that soaring above the earth like a bird would grant humans freedom, many people shudder at the mere thought of flying. However, you don’t need to stick to road trips just because airplanes send chills down your spine. There are many things you can do to beat your fear of flying.

1. Acknowledge and Accept Your Anxiety

A lot of people avoid flying because they know they’ll be fearful. However, just because you’ll feel anxious doesn’t mean you need to avoid planes. Acknowledge that you’ll feel anxious, but remind yourself that anxiety is tolerable. Although it might feel uncomfortable, chances are flying won’t be nearly as bad as you imagine it will.

2. Educate Yourself About Flying

When a plane crash happens, it’s big news because plane crashes are so uncommon. Thousands of successful flights happen each day.

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Educate yourself about airplanes, how they work, and how unlikely they are to experience a problem. Developing a better understanding of flying can help you alleviate some of your fears.

3. Learn Relaxation Skills

Anxiety manifests itself in several ways. When people feel anxious they often develop physical symptoms of anxiety. An increased heart rate, sweating, shaking, and nausea are some of the common physical symptoms associated with anxiety.

Relaxation skills can help calm the body and the mind. Learn some relaxation skills that you can use during the flight. Deep breathing and meditation can help reduce the physical symptoms commonly associated with anxiety.

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Guided imagery is another skill that can help calm your symptoms of anxiety. Guided imagery involves imagining a peaceful scene and helping your mind and body take a break from the situation at hand.

4. Conduct Some Exposure Therapy

The more you avoid flying, the less likely you are to overcome your fears. However, jumping on a 20-hour-flight will likely be too overwhelming at first. So start small and practice exposure therapy one step at a time.

Start by doing something plane-related that only stirs up some minor anxiety. For people with extreme phobias, this may include simply looking at pictures of planes or watching movies about planes. For others, it may include going to an airport and watching planes take off.

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Imagining yourself taking a flight can be a helpful step too. Repeated exposure to mildly anxiety-provoking situations can help you gradually build your courage. Take things one step at a time until you can work yourself up to a short flight.

5. Seek Professional Help

Meeting with a therapist can be very helpful for overcoming phobias. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one type of therapy that has been shown to be very effective in helping people overcome fears. Therapists using cognitive behavioral therapy teach people how to recognize and change anxious thoughts, calm their physical symptoms, and gradually increase their exposure to feared objects.

Often, short-term therapy can be very effective in treating phobias. Just a few therapy sessions may make a big difference in helping you overcome your fear of flying.

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6. Medicate Yourself

Talk to your doctor about medication options. Sometimes people use prescription medication to relieve anxiety associated with flying. There are several medications on the market that can be taken as needed to reduce anxiety.

7. Develop a Flight Plan

Develop a plan to help you cope with your anxiety during the flight. For example, plan to listen to relaxing music or read a good book during the flight. Distractions can help you overcome your fears.

Also, plan carefully who you’ll be flying with. Pick a companion who enjoys flying and one that will be compassionate about your anxiety. Just having someone with you that you trust may help calm a lot of your fears.

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Amy Morin

A psychotherapist, psychology instructor, keynote speaker, and the author of the bestselling book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do

10 Practical Tips To Make Positive Thinking Your Habit 12 Ways To Improve Social Skills And Make You Sociable Anytime 60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do 10 Surprising Benefits Of Having A Dog You Didn’t Know About

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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